hardware and software for electronic music 
Kaivo

Virta

Sound-controlled synthesis and effects .
$89

Kaivo

Kaivo

Physical modeling, made accessible.
$129

Aalto1.3

Aalto

A patchable synth with an innovative UI and distinctive sounds.
$99

Soundplane Model A

Soundplane

The computer music controller with the
feel of an acoustic instrument.
Temporarily out of stock.

News

Friday, December 09, 2016
by Randy Jones

Beta all the things!

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, all the Madrona Labs plugins have been updated. Almost immediately after announcing all this work I unexpectedly had to go into panic mode finding a new location for the Labs. Now the new digs are found, the move is complete and we are in great shape, but it sure slowed things down a lot. So if you have been waiting on one of these fixes this Fall, let me thank you sincerely for your patience and support.

I'm putting up these beta installers for both Mac and Windows now, for any adventurers who want to try them. They incorporate the new licensing system, which is more like what you're probably used to from other plugin makers: the demo and release are the same exact plugin, and you turn the one into the other by entering a key. I will update the website to send out keys early next week. So until then, these betas are demo-mode only, with the lack of saving and the whooshing noise we al know and love.

The biggest improvements to all the plugins are :

  • new registration system
  • new software PLL host sync
  • UTF-8 compatibility for patch and registration names
  • fixed an issue where the protocol type (MIDI, MPE, OSC) was not loading if the plugin editor did not exist
  • fixed an issue where folder or patch names starting in numbers might not appear
  • code signed Mac OS installer for Gatekeeper compatibility
  • code signed Windows installer for security and good feels
  • fixed a drawing problem with multiple plugin windows
  • fixed a problem where the sequencer would restart when its parameters were changed
  • fixed a problem where sequencer voices would stop after a program change

Virta has some additional fixes.

Please give these puppies a try, if you have time, and if you were having issues before let me know if things improve.

Windows installers:
http://madronalabs.com/media/aalto/AaltoInstaller1.8.0b4.exe.zip
http://madronalabs.com/media/kaivo/KaivoInstaller1.3.0b4.exe.zip
http://madronalabs.com/media/virta/VirtaInstaller1.3.0b4.exe.zip

Mac installers:
http://madronalabs.com/media/aalto/Aalto1.8.0b4.pkg
http://madronalabs.com/media/kaivo/Kaivo1.3.0b4.pkg
http://madronalabs.com/media/virta/Virta1.3.0b4.pkg

Thursday, August 11, 2016
by Randy Jones

Summer sale 2016

Tuesday, August 09, 2016
by Randy Jones

Update all the things!

A few months of quiet work on the foundations of things is wrapping up, and I'm feeling certain enough about it to give you a preview. I'll be releasing a revision of each of the Madrona Labs plugins within a few weeks. Aalto, Kaivo and Virta all share a common core library, and I've updated it for improvements in compatibility and stability.

Text handling has gotten an overhaul to allow for use of Unicode in patch names and registrations. If your name is Фёдор, Zoë or 郎, or you want to name your patch, say, デトロイトテクノ, we've got you covered.

The code that turns messages from the host DAW into stable clock got a big overhaul: a new software PLL implementation. In case you missed it, here's a demo:

Aalto PLL test from Madrona Labs on Vimeo.

In order to stay compatible with upcoming versions of MacOS, the license code has been reworked. When I first started making plugins, I thought it would be the most convenient for everyone to download uniquely watermarked software right from the website, because just one install and no registration steps are required. So that's how we've been doing it. This was a neat idea, but it is a very inconvenient idea if I want to codesign the binaries to make Gatekeeper and its Windows equivalent happy. With every plugin being different, a dedicated code signing server would be needed to sign each copy, and that’s not practical for me to maintain.

I'm moving to a system where instead of downloading the whole binary, you just download a license code and paste it into the plugin to turn the demo version into a licensed one. (Yeah, like 99% of the plugins in the world.) All the other license terms will stay the same—installation on multiple computers is still fine, for example. I've worked to make the registration experience, from website to plugin, as smooth as possible. It may even be better than my old system, because you can turn the demo into a licensed version while it's running.

Timing problems affecting Reaper and a problem I introduced with Virta 1.0.2 are also getting fixed.

Because of the need to change the website, all the plugins are switching over to the new license code at once. Probably within a few weeks. It's a big change that should make deploying new versions easier for me, and should also make life easier for all users of the software. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, May 13, 2016
by Randy Jones

Virta 1.0.2 released

Version 1.0.2 of our favorite new voice-controlled synth and effects toolbox, Virta, is now available for download. This release brings the following changes:

  • VST version now comes as a MIDI-controlled effect, enabling Cubase compatibility.
  • improved graphics performance with OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)
  • changed preset loading to strip unused settings
  • fixed a problem with Reaper always passing through dry audio
  • fixed a problem with audio stopping at some parameter settings
  • brightened background color

Enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2016
by Randy Jones

Artist profile: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

interview by Geeta Dayal

At age 29, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is a rising star in the world of electronic music. Her music was shaped by her years spent exploring the pastoral landscapes of Orcas Island in the Pacific Northwest, which led to a chance encounter—via a neighbor—with a Buchla 100 modular system. This, in turn, led to an affinity for the Buchla Music Easel, a unique, portable synthesizer invented in the 1970s. After several experiments with releasing her own material, her first full-length album, Euclid, was released in 2015 on the label Western Vinyl. Her new album, EARS, is receiving major acclaim; NPR recently raved that it "elevates the warm pulse of the Music Easel into the realm of the divine" and Spin wrote that Smith's album is "startlingly, richly fulsome, commingling the mysticism of Smithsonian Folkways LPs, IDM’s furrowed futurism, and the free fall questing of Laurie Spiegel’s 1980 landmark, The Expanding Universe."

Saturday, April 02, 2016
by Randy Jones

Using Virta in FL Studio

Here's a nice clear PDF and an FLP file that should explain how to get Virta humming along in FL Studio.

Virta in FL Studio
Virtatemplate FLP

Big thanks to Levendis and deathcomics here on the forums for putting together this info!

Thursday, March 31, 2016
by Randy Jones

Seattle Music Machines Salon meets again April 1

The second SMMS meeting will take place at Ada’s Technical books in Seattle on April 1, from 7–9pm. This is a monthly meeting for presentations and discussions about making electronic music.

I'm going to do a gentle introduction to Cycling '74's Max/MSP for the first hour, assuming there is interest. Then we can have an hour for open discussion and working on the web site and such.

Sorry for the very late notice on this month—been a bit slammed with the Virta release but I wanted to stick to the regular schedule.

If you’re interested in contributing something to SMMS, like organizational help, or a presentation of your own, there’s lots of room to do so, so please come by!

[http://seattlemusicmachines.org] has the beginnings of a website (thanks Bryan) and should be the place to go for info very shortly. There will also be a Facebook group soon.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
by Randy Jones

Using Virta in Bitwig Studio

Thanks to Thomas Helzle for this very detailed blog post on how to use Virta in Bitwig Studio. It's not difficult to begin with, and this explanation with nice illustrations and clear directions makes it that much simpler.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
by Randy Jones

Virta 1.0.1 is released.

This update fixes a problem with audio input for all DAWs on Windows. It is available in the "My Downloads" area if you have a license, and the demo has also been updated. The Mac OS version is unchanged from 1.0.0.

Monday, March 28, 2016
by Randy Jones

Virta 1.0 is released.

Finally the newest Madrona Labs device, Virta, is out in the world. I hope you enjoy it.

Please head to the product page for sound demos, demo plugins, and of course that handy green "Buy Now" button. Thanks for your support.